The Sailors’ Home, which towers above its ancient neighbour, was opened on January 15th, 1865, with Captain Ralph Robinson as the superintendent. With the mention of this name there will come a flood of memories in the minds of those who, in the ‘seventies, “went down to the sea in ships.” He was a strong gentleman, a father confessor and comforter to sailors in distress.
The Captain died in May, 1877, at the age of 66. He resided in the old house with which I have just dealt, and constantly urged that the dock in front of it be filled in. By the irony of circumstances, the work was commenced on the day of his funeral. Associated with the Sailors’ Home was a licensed boatman named Peter Plessner, who kept his boat in the dock referred to and was a well-known character in shipping circles.